The preface to this edition:
“When this publication first made its appearance at Salt Lake City, Utah, in February, 1893, the Author little dreamed that the information contained in the same would have such a wide circulation. Thousands of the books and hundreds of thousands of the tracts, entitled : "A Friendly Discussion," taken from this little work, have been circulated throughout America, European countries, and the Islands of the Pacific. The tract has not only been printed in the English language, but in the German, Scandinavian and also in one or two languages of the natives of the Isles of the Sea. During the year just closed 1898 over seven hundred thousand of these little pamphlets have been circulated in the United States alone. If this little book will give the reader a better conception of the Latter-day Saints and their religion, the object in publishing it will have been attained.”
Chattanooga, Tenn., January, 1899.”
At the time of publication, Ben E. Richard was the President of the Southern States Mission. He was President of the Mission from July 1898 to July 1908.